It’s no secret that cars are a huge part of our daily lives: from commuting and errands to vacationing and beyond. According to research from R.L. Polk, the average age of a vehicle is 11.4 years, and the average length of time that drivers keep a new vehicle is 71.4 months. If you decide you want to upgrade your older vehicle to a newer model, we support you, of course! However, if you’re someone who wants to hold onto their car longer, here are some tips to help keep your older car running stronger and longer. Just remember, our auto repair team in Citrus Heights is always available to help you with each of these older car care steps.
Top 5 Tips For Old Car Care
- Change your fluids & filters regularly: Everyone knows it’s important to change your oil on a regular basis, but there are other fluids and filters which, with regular changing, will help your older car run longer. Air filters, which help your engine to breath and run well, are easy and cheap to change. Transmission fluids are another one to put on your regular checklist. This will help lubricate the parts in your transmission to reduce wear and tear caused by friction and heat.
- Check your tires and tire pressure: Low tire pressure can have a dramatic effect on your older car, such as lowering your gas mileage, creating possible alignment problems, causing wear on suspension-based parts, and potentially being a safety issue. It’s also important to remember that temperature affects tire pressure too. There are many smaller tire pressure gauges on the market that will make it easy for you to check your car’s tires frequently, and you can easily fill your tires at your local gas station’s air pump. While we’re on the subject of tires, it’s also good to rotate your tires every 6,000-8,000 miles.
- Keep your engine cool: Engine coolant plays a big role in how your car runs and should definitely be monitored frequently. Coolant is key to preventing your engine from overheating in hot weather, as well as freezing in extremely cold weather. We recommend changing it every 24,000-30,000 miles.
- Check your brakes: Keeping your braking system youthful will help your older car prosper. We recommend having your brakes and brake pads checked once a year as well as flushing your brake fluid every two years. Your brake fluid helps fend off moisture and will keep your brakes free of rust and corrosion if changed regularly. If your car is more than seven years old, we recommend replacing the rubber brake lines too.
- Keep it clean: All of our recommendations so far have pertained to caring for your older car under the hood, but it’s also important to care for your car’s interior and exterior. We recommend cleaning and waxing your car a minimum of four times per year, with the easiest way being to drive it through your local car wash. Eliminating regular debris and protecting your car’s paint job will help fend off rust and corrosion. To help make your car’s interior last longer, try to keep it out of heavy sunlight.
Cars are just like people in that as they age, they require a little more special attention in order to keep them going. Our expert team is well-versed in cars of all ages, and we look forward to helping you continue to drive your older car as long as possible! Contact us with any auto repair needs or questions, and easily schedule your next auto repair or maintenance check-up online.